Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year; he shall make atonement on it with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once a year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”—Exodus 30:10 NASB
Imagine the scene. Thousands of Israelites were gathered in the wilderness, celebrating their deliverance from Egypt. As they began this new era, God provided rules by which He wanted them to live.
Among the most important rules was His command that every year everyone was to stop everything for a day of prayer, taking time to examine their hearts and lives. The goal was not to punish them but provide an opportunity for deeper fellowship.
To encourage reflection, no one was allowed to work or even eat. This entire day was “most holy to the Lord.” This was Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
As part of the observance, the high priest made atonement for himself and other priests through a sacrifice. Then, he sacrificed a goat as an offering for sin. A scapegoat was sent into the wilderness, symbolically demonstrating how God was taking away their sins.
This year, the commemoration of Yom Kippur begins today at sundown. This still is a day “most holy to the Lord.” It is a day for personal cleansing and a day to remember all Jesus did for us. He did what animal sacrifices could not. Like the scapegoat, He took our sins away “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
Make this a day for sober reflection. Be cleansed from sin, and get right with God. Draw closer to Him, realizing His desire to fellowship with you.
Reflection Question: Write a prayer of confession and ask God to show you any sin.
Father, search my heart. Reveal any sin in my life. I confess my sins, accepting Your forgiveness. I long to fellowship with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today's Bible Reading